Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)

National Code: 10286NAT
TAFE SA Code: AC00084


Dental Hygienists play an important role in oral health by providing individualised treatment to the community, aimed at preventing oral diseases and helping to improve general health and wellbeing. Dental hygienists perform preventative, educational and therapeutic interventions to manage and treat dental decay and gum diseases. Dental hygienists also play a key role in the prevention of diseases through individualised oral hygiene instruction, dietary counselling and oral health promotion.

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Up to 2 years 

Full Time or Part Time equivalent

Dental Workers/ Dental Assistants Dental Workers/ Dental Assistants

In response to COVID-19, TAFE SA has had to make some changes to how courses are delivered. If any changes are made to the delivery or completion date of your course, TAFE SA will communicate with you directly.

Locations & Applications

Course Admission Requirements

  • Satisfactory performance in a written assessment


  • Certificate III or higher in Dental Assisting or
  • SACE Completion or equivalent
If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by Written assessment score
If you have a verified disability/medical condition and require additional support to demonstrate satisfactory reading, writing and numeracy skills please contact Student Services prior to applying to discuss your needs. To be eligible for support you must provide medical documentation to verify your disability/medical condition.

Total Fees for the 2 year course

This course is subsidised through the Government of South Australia's Subsidised Training initiative. Assessing your eligibility may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. Concessions apply to Subsidised Training only.

Subsidised Training Eligibility
Full Fee

This course also has an incidentals cost of $2,500.00 for Laboratory/dentistry coat, dentistry kit, personal protective equipment and three textbooks.

Fees vary depending on subjects you enrol into. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

    • This course is highly competitive and applicants will be ranked on their written assessment score. TAFE SA will contact you with details about undertaking the written assessment.
    • This course provides evidence of addressing all licensing/regulatory requirements under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009; governing the practice of dental hygiene. Students must register with the Dental Board of Australia through the institution that they are enrolled in. Information on the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 can be obtained from the Dental Board of Australia (www.dentalboard.gov.au).
    • Prior to enrolment candidates will be advised that to undertake the course they must be eligible for unlimited registration as a student with the Dental Board of Australia under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009. Many health care facilities including SA Health require candidates and other Health Care Workers to present the result of a criminal history check and evidence related to immune status for vaccine preventable diseases, blood borne virus infection and tuberculosis screening, prior to allowing clinical access to patients. Failure to comply with any of the above requirements is likely to result in being unable to undertake the clinical placements necessary for completion of this course.
    • It is the responsibly of the individual student to maintain a current First Aid Certificate to qualify for graduation of the course. Students must also hold a licence to operate an ionising radiation apparatus. Applicants who do not hold a current license will need to enrol in the relevant 3 units to gain the licence within the first year of studies.
    • The written assessment will cover the following aspects: Communication skills; Dental conditions and terminology; Head and neck anatomy; Dental charting; Knowledge about the Dental Board of Australia; Basic biology; General dental knowledge.
    • Students wishing to access subsidised training are required to demonstrate satisfactory reading, writing and numeracy skills by undertaking the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA).
    • Reading, writing and numeracy skills are assessed using the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA). This assessment is used to determine whether you will be required to undertake additional support units alongside your qualification or undertake a pathway course before commencing your chosen qualification. If you receive an offer, more information will be provided at your enrolment session.
  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

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    VET Student Loan

    This is an interest-free personal loan from the Australian Government that provides eligible students access to capped funding to help pay for their studies.

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    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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  • Employment Outcomes

    On successful completion of the course graduates will have completed the education and training in contemporary dental hygiene practice, enabling them to work in both private and government sectors in accordance with the legislative provisions.

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) (10286NAT)
    This course will help progress your career as a dental hygienist by teaching you advanced techniques in contemporary dental hygiene practice. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 11 National units of competency and 25 enterprise units of competency.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates find jobs or continue studying.
    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.

    * 2019 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Core

    Name Nominal Hours
    Administer pain control for dental treatment 15
    Analyse and apply epidemiology in dental and health practice 15
    Apply oral medicine and pathology principles to dental hygiene treatment 100
    Apply pharmacology principles to dental hygiene management 100
    Apply professional tooth whitening agents 25
    Apply rubber dam and fissure sealants 15
    Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures 25
    Confirm physical health status 90
    Contribute to working with the community to identify health needs 60
    Diagnose and manage dental caries and other hard tissue pathologies in the patient 15
    Diagnose and manage periodontal conditions 40
    Establish and manage client relationships 35
    Evaluate a population health project 40
    Examine and assess a patient to devise a dental hygiene treatment plan 150
    Identify and interpret findings on a dental radiograph 25
    Implement a dental hygiene program for children and adolescents 25
    Investigate and assess oral health status 80
    Participate in workplace health and safety 20
    Perform a nutritional oral health assessment 30
    Perform prescribed orthodontic procedures 40
    Place temporary restorations, polish restorations and remove overhanging margins 24
    Plan a population health project 50
    Plan and manage dental hygiene care for patients with special needs 20
    Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety 25
    Provide clinical dental hygiene treatment 400
    Provide dental hygiene care to elderly patients 20
    Provide individual and community based dental health education and oral hygiene instructions 30
    Research and apply evidence to practice 65
    Research and apply personality and development theories 50
    Scale teeth, debride root surfaces and stains from teeth 50
    Take a clinical photograph 50
    Take an impression and construct study models for dental hygiene patients 18
    Undertake and analyse diagnostic tests to determine oral health status 15
    Use chemotherapeutic agents to manage and prevent dental disease 15
    Work legally and ethically 55
    Work with diverse people 40
  • Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest pathways towards a University Degree. Credit Transfer is the formal recognition that parts of a TAFE SA course are equivalent in content and level to parts of some University courses. Below are the Credit Transfer details for this course. View all TAFE SA Credit Transfer Agreements

    University University Course Details
    Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences
    Bachelor of Oral Health
    Bachelor of Public Health (Online program)
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